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June Issue

CareCheckup

Veterinary

Does your pet need physical therapy?

Physical, or rehabilitation, therapy for pets is a fast-growing trend, due in part to many pet owners wanting to provide their furry family members with the same quality of life, mobility and comfort afforded to humans. Physical therapy can help improve recovery after surgery or an injury, or improve the quality of life in senior pets experiencing pain or mobility issues.

Pets of all ages and health conditions may benefit from physical therapy as a safe and effective way to aid in their recovery.

Some of the most common health issues where physical therapy may be beneficial to pets include:

  • Recovering from surgery
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Fractures or muscle injuries
  • Neurological, orthopedic or other chronic conditions

An overview of pet physical therapy treatments

  • Range of motion exercises can help pets improve flexibility through exercises and activities that gently move their joints back and forth.
  • Obstacle course activities may involve the use of ramps, steps and bars to help pets improve their balance and regain strength.
  • Cold therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation, and help increase circulation.
  • Heat therapy can prepare muscles for more physical rehabilitation activity. Heat therapy may include ultrasound therapy, which provides heat to muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Water therapy usually involves swimming or using an underwater treadmill to provide pain relief and improve range of motion.
  • Massage may help minimize age-related discomfort as well as provide emotional relief to pets suffering from anxiety.
  • Acupuncture may help manage pain in pets suffering from inflammation, recovering from surgery or living with chronic health conditions.

Signs your pet might benefit from physical therapy

Before starting physical therapy, it’s important for your pet to have a thorough veterinary exam to rule out a more serious health condition. Let your veterinarian know if your pet is displaying any of these behaviors:
  • Difficulty walking, climbing stairs or getting up
  • Reluctance to go on long walks
  • Signs of pain, such as whining, decreased appetite or taking longer naps

To learn more about physical therapy treatment options for your furry loved one, contact your veterinarian to discuss the type of therapy that may be beneficial, based on your pet’s condition or symptoms. Remember that taking preventive measures and being proactive is an important step to keeping your pet healthy and happy.

Keep in mind that you can use your CareCredit credit card for both services and products at participating veterinary practices. Use the CareCredit Acceptance Locator or CareCredit Mobile App to find a nearby veterinarian who accepts CareCredit.

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